Uber's Autonomous vehicle requires a driver to brake in emergencies

Date: 8 JUN 2018posted by Car Rentaledited by WinX

In a preliminary report on the March fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving vehicle and a pedestrian in Arizona shows the vehicle's manufacturer had installed an automatic emergency braking system but was disabled at the time. The report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board found that Uber does not enable the automatic braking feature while its test vehicles are under computer control to "reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior." The safety system was not designed to alert the vehicle's operator. Uber has confirmed this finding.

The said test vehicle was a modified 2017 Volvo XC90 and was operating with its self-driving system in computer control mode and had a vehicle safety operator inside during the accident. The Volvo was factory equipped with a collision avoidance function, in addition to functions for detecting driver alertness and road sign information, all advanced driver assistance functions were disabled when the vehicle had engaged its computer control mode. The details of the accident includes the vehicle and its safety operator was traveling at 69 kmph on the night of March 18th. A pedestrian wearing dark clothing stepped onto the roadway, roughly 110 meters south of the crosswalk. The pedestrian was pushing a bicycle which did not have any safety reflectors. The report stated, "as the vehicle and pedestrian paths converged, the self-driving system software classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, as a vehicle, and then as a bicycle with varying expectations of future travel path."

"At 1.3 seconds before impact, the self-driving system determined that emergency braking was needed to mitigate a collision." Data from the vehicle involved showed the safety operator had engaged with the steering wheel with less than a second before impact and began braking less than a second after impact. The vehicle operator had been monitoring the self-driving interface and while her personal and business phones were both in the vehicle, neither were used until after the crash. Uber has halted all self-driving vehicle testing in the United States since the accident.

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